Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Let's Talk Some Politics With Memere Marie

My parents arrived in Millpond via bus last Friday night on a small detour from their normal route back to LA and Saturday Husband and I and my parents took Memere Marie (my mother's mother as you may recall) and her husband Ray out for pizza. She loves pizza. Ray loves food period. If it's edible Ray loves it, which is the only possible way he could have stayed with Memere Marie for the past 20 years because she is an abominable cook. Her cooking is like a year round Passover, but worse. She puts yellow hot dog mustard and Velveeta in everything and cooks almost exclusively in the microwave.

Before I go on to the pizza lunch story I have to digress and tell you about Ray's eating habits. Ray, who is almost 80 and in way better shape than me, as I said will eat ANYTHING and like it. Whenever we go out he eats everyone's leftovers right from their plates - pizza crusts, the onions we pick off our salads, the lemon slices from our iced tea and the stripped bones of our baby back ribs. I've never seen anything like it. One time he came home from working on his farm (he is a farmer who raises race horses, chickens, corn, soy beans and green peppers) to get some lunch. He found a small margarine container in the refrigerator that had some leftovers in it, which he heated up and ate with saltines. Later that evening, thinking about how good his lunch was, he asked Memere Marie what she had cooked and put in the margarine container. She thought for a moment.

"I don't know what you're talking about Ray," she replied.

"Well, it was kind of like a stew," Ray said, "But then I thought it might be a pate' although I did heat it up and you're not supposed to heat up pate' are you? It was just delicious. I was hoping you'd make it again."

Memere thought some more.

"Oh dear God Ray. You've eaten a can of Nine Lives!"

That morning she had fed the cats a half a can and saved the other half for their dinner in the margarine container and Ray ate it.

"You're kidding! It was delicious!"

Since then, Ray has often, when in a pinch, opened up a can of wet food for himself, which he eats, just like pate', and spreads on crackers. He has since stopped heating it up and says his favorite flavor is Ocean Dinner. I do not recommend that you attempt eating cat food yourself.

But last Saturday we did not, thank the blessed Lord, eat cat food. We had pizza. The first thing Memere did when she saw me was to call me a "little shit" and then make all sorts of accusations about what I'm doing on the computer. She has never in her life even touched a computer, yet she claims to know all about them. I'm not sure what she thinks the Internet is, being that she has never seen it, but she is convinced that every single thing you do on it is completely public and that there's nothing but child molesters on it.

"Well I guess I'm safe then, being that I'm an adult and child molesters aren't interested in me," I replied.

The second thing Memere did was call me a "Smart Ass SOB" and I confess this may be somewhat accurate.

After the pizza arrived my mother started talking about some of my recent accomplishments.

"Are those Liberals at that university giving you any problems?" Memere asked me totally out of the blue.

This caught me off guard.

"What?" I asked.

"Those Liberals. Don't try to tell me they aren't. I know what kind of left-wing radical nonsense goes on at those colleges. I see it on Fox News and I said to myself it's a good thing no one in the family's been to one of those places. Except you. I think in this day and age it's best to stay away from the universities. They don't teach a damn thing anyway. So I'm just interested in what kind of problems the Liberals are giving you."

I had no words.

"Or," Memere continued, lowering her voice dramatically, "Are YOU a Liberal?"

She said this in a tone that stated quite emphatically that if the answer were "yes" that she would instantly get up from the table, walk home and never speak to me or love me ever again until I registered as a Republican.

While I was more than a little tempted to tell Memere that just the previous week I had flung my bra into a bonfire on campus before praising Allah and performing "The Vagina Monologues" buck naked with "Fuck Bush!" painted across my braless boobs, I resisted the temptation and instead just told her about the Al Qaeda training camp that all English majors, especially Poetry MFAs are required to attend before graduation. No, I'm just kidding. I didn't do that either. But oh how I wanted to.

"Memere," I said, "I am not always Liberal but I am not a Conservative either, and while this may disappoint you, I am registered as an Independent. I'm a Moderate. I see good and bad things in both sides. I try to stay balanced. Some things I'm really Liberal about, but every now and then I get pretty Conservative too, but I refuse to subscribe to any ideology. In my life, and in my job and situation, I feel that this would be irresponsible. I think that politics should bring people together to make the country better for everyone, not tear people apart and make them fight."

The color drained from her face. Apparently, in addition to being the only member of the family to go to one of them universities I am also the only person to ever betray the Republican party with my heinous disloyalty. She turned to my mother.

"She's voting for Obama! Did you hear that!!!" Memere told my mother as if I couldn't hear her.

Ray turned to me.

"Are you done with that lemon in your iced tea?" he asked, "Because I'll eat it if you don't want it."

I don't talk politics with my family in Millpond. I can't. I will never convince them of anything and it will only cause fights and misunderstandings because they don't share the same worldview or understanding as I do and most of their political leanings are very uninformed and based on emotions which stem from the fear that their very isolated and narrow way of life might be threatened by invasions of people who are different from them, and by that I don't mean immigrants. I mean people from universities too. You can't argue with that.

You can, however, make fun of it on the Internet for all the child molesters to read.


basteine said...

Was Obama in Pa when he may those comments about voters in Pa being bitter and seeking refuge behind guns and religion? Or did that also describe Millpond? You cant argue with a closed mind. My mother in law watches Fox news ( spin free zone) reads writers like Thomas Sowell as gospel and is a faithful ditto head. If Rush says it it must be true. She calls Obama a demagogue and finds him to be a " dangerous " politician. You are not alone in being unable to discuss politics with part of the family.

UmmFarouq said...

Oh, let me not even attempt to discuss politics, seeing as how I am the born-in-Alabama white girl convert Muslim in a family whose Grandmother still referred to her gardner as "Nigger Bob."

At least my grandfather preferred Kibbles n' bits. Ha!

Beverly said...

oh my god that's one of the funniest things i've ever read. i live in a tiny town (less than 500 population) and when i voted in the primaries i voted democrat. since you have to tell them which primary you wish to vote in at the polling station (run by the town's oldest and most conservative group) you could hear the audible collective gasp when i - a white woman - opted to vote democrat. i honestly would have voted for ron paul if i thought he had a snowball's chance in hell but i gave my vote to nader 8 years ago and look who got elected. lol

anyway - they all looked at me as though i just said i was going to vote for satan. it was hilarious.

onthegomom said...

oh god... I about gagged about the cat food part. That's just not right, at all!!!!

Memere Marie cracks me up...

Anonymous said...

Funny, I would say that the liberals are the ones who are very uninformed and whose ideas are based only on emotions. How else can you explain your hate America first, tax the rich, Obama ideas. Change? No, same old liberal politics. Love your blog but not your politics.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous sounds like they're on an angry rant, caused by their own cynical outlook on life. Why would that commenter say that the wonderful author of this blog wants to "hate America first"? What the hell does that mean anyway? Taxes? where does the author say anything about taxes?

I'm a Republican that appreciates the lack of politics in this blog. This funny story was one of the eat-anything grandfather and the scared grannie, fearful about the World Wide World who doesn't really know about much outside of their small town, unless it is piped in through cable news.

I certainly did not find this post to be pushing a candidate or a political ideology. On the contrary, I found it a statement about the ignorance of right or left wing ideology.

Had these grandparents happened to have been some old communists from Russia, I think we would have been treated to an equally entertaining story about the good times and fun that were had waiting in the 3 hour toilet paper and bread lines.

Shay said...

If it makes you feel any better, I have a Democrat relative who is pretty much the same way Memere is, only about Republicans and John McCain.

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